Energy, defined both as the fossil fuels we mainly use for transport and the calorie intake we need to keep us alive, is the key ingredient of a functioning global economy. Without sustainable energy use very long-term growth is impossible.
The rise of large and previously poor countries is creating a strain on natural resources and the global climate. Furthermore, notwithstanding the negative effects of increased energy use, we are also faced with the problem of (theoretically) infinite economic growth in a closed planetary system.
Here we concentrate on how humankind is fuelling its economic expansion and its own existence, and how this key ingredient of prosperity can shift to a more sustainable model.